Cricket Australia Defending The Markets
Cricket Australia’s James Sutherland and Ben Amarfio are apparently part of a high-profile representative body to have flown to the United States in order to meet with the powers that be at the CBS Network in the hopes of securing a lucrative broadcasting partnership. CBS bought out Ten Network last year, after the latter had submitted to voluntary administration. Ten Network was the official broadcaster of Australia’s highly successful Big Bash League.
The voluntary administration process had the uncertainty about future ownership had largely slammed on the brakes as far as Cricket Australia’s BBL marketplace plans were concerned, but ongoing meetings were held for the biggest portion of the summer in an endeavour to come to new agreements with regards to the Big Bash League, Tests and One Day Internationals.
Cricket Australia declined to comment when prompted to reveal the details of the meetings with the CBS Network. This is nothing out of the ordinary as parties are generally expected to sign confidentiality agreements due to the volatile nature of broadcast deal negotiations. Despite the lack of reliable inside information, the word on the street is that neither Nine Network or Ten Network are prepared to fork out the kind of investment that Cricket Australia is gunning for.
BBL Still CA’s Most Valuable Product
Industry experts firmly believe that the sports broadcasting rights golden window is slowly closing, which is evident when considering the recent English Premier League figures. Right to the EPL were recently sold at an average of 16% lower per game than the last run, a clear indication that the broadcasting bubble may have eventually burst.
Cricket Australia has gone as far as to investigate the possibility of bringing the production of games in house, thereby securing even more control of its product. An honourable idea, but one that isn’t likely to materialise very soon, if at all.
The last time round Ten Network secured broadcasting rights to the Big Bash League for a cool $20m. Now, it is reported that Cricket Australia is expecting this to be multiplied, with the means to the end being the possibility of entering into an agreement with Foxtel as co-broadcaster.
The Big Bash League has become Cricket Australia’s most valuable product, but despite its immense success, the ratings and crowd attendances saw a slight decline this year.
Sutherland hopes to remedy this by extending the cricket season well into February. With each BBL club now playing 14 matches going forward, instead of the usual 10, this may very well become a reality.
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